Stadium: Giuseppe Meazza (Milan)
Italy and Spain faced each other precisely three months ago in the Euro 2020 semi-finals when Squadra Azzurra were stronger. Can La Roja get their revenge? We predict that the Spaniards will be stronger this time.
Italy are the reigning European champions and have won the title in superb style, displaying flamboyant, attacking football. They will be regarded as the continent’s strongest national team for the next three years, but the time has come to transform themselves from celebrations to hard work. Roberto Mancini’s charges played out a 1-1 draw with Bulgaria in their first game back from EURO 2020, before sharing points with Switzerland - 0-0. Fortunately, the Italians scored a 5-0 win over Lithuania in their last meeting, which allowed them to retain their top spot in the 2022 World Cup qualifying group.
The Spanish national team has been in a generational crisis for many years, but EURO 2020 has shown that the process is nearing its end. Luis Enrique’s side had a very decent tournament, reaching the semi-finals, where they only lost on penalties to the future champions Italians - 1:2. After the continental championship, the Red Fury returned to qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, with their first game resulting in a 1-2 defeat by Sweden. The defeat had invigorated the Spaniards, who beat Georgia and Kosovo 4-0 and 2-0 respectively to remain in first place in Group B, but the Swedes are still ahead of them in terms of points lost.
Expert Betting Tips
Italy are the reigning European champions, which makes them favourites for any match within the continent, but things are not clear-cut in the upcoming clash. In the summer, Roberto Mancini’s side won a major tournament so that they won’t have the exact high expectations for the UEFA Nations League, and La Roja will be scrambling for the trophy. Even at UEFA EURO 2020, Luis Enrique’s side has managed to get to a penalty shoot-out before the Italians are no stronger, with some players in that squad no longer getting match practice at the clubs. As a result, a bet on the Spanish team to qualify with the odds of about 2.35 is inevitable.
The final tournament of the UEFA Nations League takes place in a knock-out format, starting with the semi-finals. The Italian and Spanish national teams have been playing well in the Euro 2020 play-off-level battles over the summer, so those meetings have something special to note. There was an exchange of goals in all four Italian and all three Spanish games, including a face-off when Alvaro Morata answered a Federico Chiesa goal. Now, there is every reason to expect a goal shoot-out, as both teams have defensive problems while playing in an attacking manner, so the best option for the prediction seems to be Both Teams To Score - Yes for 1.86.
The UEFA Nations League semi-finals are a high stage of the tournament. The teams have only two wins to go before the trophy, so the price of every result is very high. That’s why, in the opening encounter between the Italians and Spaniards, we should not expect any risky action, as any slip-up could be too costly. Squadra Azzurra and La Roja are well aware of this, as precisely three months ago, they already played in the semi-finals of Euro 2020, when the score was opened only in the 60th minute. And now it is worth looking at a bet that the first goal in the match will be scored after 31 minutes with odds around 1.88.